Every time we know that a period of time is coming up during which we will eat and drink with more abandon, like during the Christmas holidays, we prepare ourselves by choosing to have lighter dishes beforehand. One of our favourites is this lasagna that uses sliced zucchini instead of pasta lasagna sheets (for a higher vegetable intake and better digestibility), We use lighter turkey mince instead of beef mince and we have substituted our usual bechamel sauce with a herbed cheese and egg mixture. We love the result as much as the traditional version and like the fact that it gives us a bit of a change.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 people)
3 courgettes (zucchini), sliced lengthways
3 tblsp Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil, more to brush the zucchini slices
1 medium onion, finely chopped
750 gr fresh turkey mince (if possible a mix of thigh and breast meat)
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 jar of good quality tomato and basil sauce for pasta (500 gr)
250 gr mozzarella cheese for pizza, shredded
a handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 egg (large)
1 tub of ricotta (250 gr)
salt and pepper to taste
You will need a roasting pan 7.5 by 11.5 inches or thereabouts.
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, lightly brush the zucchini slices with some olive oil on the side that will touch the baking paper, lightly sprinkle with some salt and place side by side on baking sheet. Let them bake in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 min (depending on how thick the slices are) until they are tender. Take out, allow to cool slightly and dab with some kitchen paper to absorb some moisture released during the baking process.
Heat the olive oil in a large enough pan and stir in the onion. Let cook for about 5 min on medium/high heat until it looks glassy, then add the garlic and the turkey mince. Stir and the mince with a wooden spoon or spatula to break up and mix well with the onion and garlic until the meat is browned. Then add your tomato/basil sauce, mix well and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until the meat sauce slightly thickens. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl mix 2/3 of the mozzarella with the ricotta, the egg and the fresh basil until you have a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now take your roasting pan and layer first the mince, then a layer of zucchini slices and last your cheese mixture. Repeat this one more time and finish by sprinkling your remaining 1/3 mozzarella on top.
Place in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the top of the lasagna is nicely melted and browned around the edges. Take out, allow to cool to about room temperature and then slice into pieces. Serve with a leafy salad on the side and perhaps a nice glass of red wine.
To buy Opus oléa click here.